Red Dubonnet - Drink Secrets

Red Dubonnet

Enjoying a Glass of Red Dubonnet

Red Dubonnet is not one of the most known wines, however was very popular in the 1960s and 1970s. It is a sweet fortified wine that is blended with different spices and herbs as well as a little bit of quinine. The fermentation is stopped by the addition of the alcohol. The name is derived from its creator, Joseph Dubonnet, It was a competition that was run by the authorities of France to figure out how to get legionnaires to drink quinine, which is very bitter, but combats malaria. He won and began selling the product in 1846.


It is a popular aperitif and is often combined with vermouth in many cocktails to be delivered before the food arrives to cleanse the palate. The Red Dubonnet is also available in Blanc and Gold, which is flavored as vanilla and orange respectively. There are many different cocktails that benefit from the addition of the fortified wine, though it can be consumed all by itself as well. One of the most common ways to enjoy it is by adding it to lemonade or a bitter lemon juice on the rocks, or added to a cocktail shaker and then strained.


Red Dubonnet is usually aged in an oak barrel for three years before it is bottled, which adds to the oaky taste that one can enjoy if they take a moment to savor the flavor before mixing it with something else. It is derived of grapes and red wine based, so it has many of the same flavors as one would normally associate with a red wine. The spices and herbs, however, is what change the ultimate flavor, making it very complex. There are hundreds of recipes that can be made with the liqueur, so if you cannot find a recipe for yourself to try, then go ahead and create your own flavor.

Where to Find Red Dubonnet

You can find Red Dubonnet in a wide number of locations, though it is not as common as it once was, so you may have to look a little harder for it. The locations that you can check include:

  • Grocery store
  • Liquor store
  • Online merchants

There are many grocery stores around the country that have a wide array of wines because they go well with different foods. Red Dubonnet is still a popular aperitif and many gourmet cooking and food stores still recognize this. It is for this reason that you may be able to find an affordable bottle in one of these style grocery stores. It is going to be in the wine section, somewhere after all of the "standard" red wines have been covered. If the store sells Sherry, you may be able to find a bottle of this liqueur as well – usually right next to it.


Depending upon the nearby liquor store, they may also carry Red Dubonnet, but if it is a small shop, the chances are not very good. Most smaller liquor stores only carry the popular products and unfortunately Red Dubonnet is not as popular as it once used to be, simply because the generation gap has forgotten about it. It is for this reason that many people must turn to online liquor stores to find a bottle.

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